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German DM urges Turkey to negotiate on gas plans

June 18, 2021 at 2:13 pm

Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar (R) meets German Minister of Defense Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (L) in Berlin, Germany on 2 February 2021. [Arif Akdoğan – Anadolu Agency]

German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer called on Turkey to negotiate on its gas exploration plans in a disputed area of the Mediterranean Sea also claimed by European Union members Greece and Cyprus, DW reports.

After her meeting with her counterpart Hulusi Akar, Kramp-Karrenbauer said that as a NATO partner, Turkey had committed itself to resolving conflicts “on the basis of international law, through negotiations.”

“This also applies to contentious issues in the eastern Mediterranean,” she added.

Even though Germany has taken on the role of mediator in the dispute between Turkey and Greece over rights to natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, last December, the country opposed a request submitted by Greece to impose an arms embargo on Turkey over tensions between the two countries in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

In August, Turkey resumed energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean after Greece and Egypt signed a controversial maritime delimitation deal, spurning Turkey’s goodwill gesture in halting explorations.

Turkey has consistently opposed Greece’s efforts to declare an exclusive economic zone based on small islands near Turkish shores, violating the interests of Turkey, the country with the longest coastline on the Mediterranean.

Ankara has also said energy resources near the island of Cyprus must be shared fairly between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus.

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